Fueled by a bold strategy to pit with 40 laps to go, James Krahula stretched his fuel and led a No Name Racing sweep of the podium and collected his first win of the season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment in the Monster Worldwide 200 at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday night. It was Krahula’s first win with No Name Racing, and his second in the series.
“I knew that we were probably pretty close to making it, but especially if we got a caution, I knew we could make it,” Krahula said in victory lane. “I’m glad that the strategy worked out in our favor.”
Krahula’s teammates, Jake Wright and Pierre Daigle, completed the podium as the race ended under caution following a wreck with two laps to go. Both Wright and Daigle credited the newest member of No Name Racing for making the race-winning strategy call.
“He made an awesome call,” Daigle said. “He said ‘if we pit now and get one more caution, we can make it.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
Wright failed to lead a lap for the second straight race, but kept his point lead, albeit by one, over Krahula.
“The rollercoaster that this race was, from starting up front to being close to dead last, it was just very fun,” Wright said. “The strategy made all the difference.”
Krahula said he knew his team was in good shape when a caution flew with 23 laps to go for a wreck right in front of the No Name teammates involving Jack Bogan and Tiger Connor. The rest of the field hit pit road for the final time, while the three teammates stayed out and conserved fuel.
“These races are so hard to get,” Krahula said. “You take them anyway you can get them. You just have to be smarter than all these guys, and even though we had the strategy, we still had to race for it.
“You’ve got to be on your game in this series, and that’s what makes these wins so rewarding.”
The race ended under caution when Joe Branch turned Jason Galvin coming off of turn four with two laps remaining. Branch held on to finish fourth, with a wounded Tony Showen in fifth. Galvin fell to 16th following the contact.
Jason Robarge, Brandon Limkemann, Robert Blouin, Randy Crossno and Matthew Mercer completed the top 10.
The race was slowed by six cautions for 23 laps. Chris Gutierrez led the most laps at 48, but ended up 15th when he hit pit road as the caution on lap 120 flew. 10 drivers led laps, with 18 lead changes highlighting an entertaining race.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment takes a week off before the first Triple Crown event of the season, the DirtyBlinds.com 300 at Pocono Raceway. Jake Wright is the defending race winner takes his points lead into the event on Wednesday, April 27. All 120 laps can be seen live on Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST.
For more on the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.